After weeks of posturing, it is set to be an hectic last few hours of the transfer window at Manchester United. Louis van Gaal’s men appear to be edging closer to attempting to resolve both their goalkeeping dilemma and an obvious lack of scoring options.
With just three goals scored in four Premier League outings so far this season, United’s attack has come under intense scrutiny. But, after showing a strong interest in Pedro before the Spain international instead moved to Chelsea, United have pulled a surprise name out of the hat on the penultimate day of England’s transfer window.
Monaco’s 19-year-old forward Anthony Martial is set to be in Manchester on Monday to complete a transfer for a reported £36 million. Martial, who has been likened to former Arsenal great Thierry Henry due to his lightning pace, skill on the ball and long-range scoring ability, has been given permission to travel to Manchester by the French Football Federation. He had earlier joined up with the France squad in hopes of winning his first cap against Portugal on Friday.
Signed from Lyon for £3.5 million two years ago, Martial scored 12 goals for Monaco last season. There is little doubt that the size of fee, surely enhanced by the fact that he only signed a new contract in the principality earlier this summer, will raise eyebrows aplenty. While Monaco’s elimination from the Champions League last week may have made Monaco more inclined to sell, the fact that the deal has come so late and the fee is so high will mean United having to fight suggestions that it is something of a panic buy. Van Gaal and the rest of the club will hope that Martial quickly starts to fulfill his undoubted potential to dispel such thoughts.
While Martial looks set to arrive, two of United’s current attackers could be on the way out. Javier "Chicharito" Hernández , has been pictured at Bayer Leverkusen where multiple reports state he is undergoing a medical ahead of finalizing his transfer to the Bundesliga club. The Mexican forward spent last season on loan at Real Madrid and has entered the last year of his contract at Old Trafford. The final straw for his United career now looks to have been his penalty miss in a Champions League playoff against Club Brugge last week.
Also on the way to Germany could be Adnan Januzaj. Sky Sports are among the outlets reporting that Borussia Dortmund are in advanced discussions over a loan move for the Belgian attacking midfielder. Januzaj had been linked with a loan move to Sunderland earlier this month, but then looked set to stay around this season having been selected to start four straight matches in the No. 10 role. The 20-year-old enjoyed a breakthrough season under David Moyes’ reign, but featured far more sparingly under Van Gaal last term.
The big story in the next few hours, though, is set to be the conclusion to the summer-long saga involving David de Gea. With the transfer window in Spain ending on Monday, Real Madrid have just a few hours remaining to finally secure a player they have trailed for several months. Manchester United have so far failed to lessen their demands, despite De Gea entering the final year of his contract, while Real Madrid have refused to either let Sergio Ramos leave in exchange or pay a record fee for a goalkeeper.
According to Marca, United have now agreed to open negotiations with Real Madrid over De Gea’s sale, and the Spanish giants expect a deal to be concluded. Yet there could be another complication, with United reportedly keen to have Real Madrid’s current No. 1 Keylor Navas move the other way as part of the deal. Spanish daily AS reports that Navas has delayed his flight to join up with the Costa Rica national team as he awaits news of his future, although he currently has his mind set on remaining at the Bernabeu. The 28-year-old saved a penalty during Real Madrid’s 5-0 win over Real Betis on Saturday.